Rhya Wang / Edge Columnist

Many seniors in Canada live alone with nobody takes care of them, including those Mobility-impaired individuals. Seniors are lonely even before Covid-19, needless to say during Covid time. 

Also, some of the seniors who got Covid are hard to get good care and feeling alone. As Pia Araneta reported in “Many seniors struggle with loneliness. The pandemic has only made it worse. ”  Maria Sardelis’ s 98-years-old mother got Covid and she keeps taking care of her mom. She said: “What would happen if I wasn’t (there)? What’s happening to all those other people that don’t have someone?” 

Loneliness always there with seniors and during the pandemic, people are busy on things about vaccines and Covid-19. Relatively, less attention will be paid to other issues, such as the mental health of seniors. 

According to the “visit restriction amid COVID-19 caused ‘spike in depression ’in long-term care homes” by Camille Bains, visiting restrictions that were initially needed at facilities like the Lynn Valley Care Centre are now causing more harm than good for her dad and other residents who are mostly confined to their rooms. People in the care center start getting depressed and lonely, and The National Institute on Ageing said, compared with long-term care homes anywhere else in Canada, British Columbia is enduring the most restrictive visitation. This means seniors around us are hard to get their family around even for hours. That’s a big reason for loneliness in seniors, everyone needs the company of their family and friends to tell them they are loved and needed, needless to say, seniors, who may have physical illness or depression.

 Also, isolation and ageism from the young have exacerbated the problem. Many seniors may have difficulty using social media and electronic products, that means is hard from them to chat with their friends or family member, much less to say meeting new friends online. 

Isobel Mackenzie, the advocate for seniors in British Columbia, said that the B.C government to establish a family council association that would be included in future consultations on issues affecting residents of long-term care and assisted living facilities. 

 “‘What they talked about is: ‘I need more help. I want somebody to help me to the toilet. I want somebody to help me eat. I want somebody who’s going to sit and listen to me,’’ Mackenzie said. The lack of an association that represents residents and their families at the 300 care homes in B.C. means they don’t have a voice in policy discussions between the government, care-home operators and unions for staff, she said,” according to the “visit restriction amid COVID-19 caused ‘spike in depression ’in long-term care homes”.

Seniors are an important part of society, there dedicated their youth to build the community. Although people are busy protecting seniors from COVID-19, care about the physical health of them, but depression and loneliness would still affecting their mental health, which can also cause illness or even death. People and government should do something to fix this issue. The government can consider forming the association that Mackenzie said and long-term care canters should work out a compromise. Everyone can try their best to fix this problem, even make a phone call and talk to your grandparents, or say hi to a senior from 2 meters away, a little things you do may light up someone’s day.